Publishing and multimedia company, Omera productions, have launched their 2019 Summer Reading Challenge to promote literacy over the months that American children are out of school.
Every year, educators and parents seek ways to prevent significant learning loss that many children experience over the summer recess. Commonly known as summer slide, it includes up to twenty percent losses in reading gains that require re-learning them the next school year.
“As educators and parents, we realize the importance of children continuing to read over the summer,” explained Abdusamad and Harper.
“Omera’s goal is based on producing books, so it [aligns with our objectives] to do a reading challenge.”
The summer reading program is for children between ages 5 to 12. Participants download a reading log from the Omera Productions website and track their reading until July 10th. Completed logs will be emailed to [email protected].
All participants receive a prize. The participant who reads the most books will get a free copy of the company’s soon-to-be-released book Zakiyyah’s Talking Flower Garden.
“The challenge is open to all children who wish to participate,” said Abdusamad and Harper.
Saving Reading Skills
According to Scholastic, the three of the best ways to prevent summer slide includes:
- Reading six books.
- Reading every day, and
- Reading aloud.
Besides preventing diminished reading skills, summer reading may increase reading acumen.
“Children who do read during the summer actually improve their reading abilities,” said Abdusamad and Harper. “It is important for parents to have their children put down those iPads and turn off the television for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day to read a book.”
Giving children access to interesting books appropriate for their age and at their reading levels encourages literacy.
In one study, up to fifty-nine percent of children reported needing help to find books, making parental involvement in text selection critical.
“The types of books children read can depend on their age as well as their interests,” explained Abdusamad and Harper.
“Infants will find soft picture books interesting. They can gnaw on them and be amazed by the pictures. Toddlers will enjoy books that rhyme and have colorful photos too.”
Books by Muslim authors centering Muslim children continue to rise in the United States as part of the increasing desire for diverse reads. Seventy-six percent of kids and sixty-nine percent of parents expressed wanting more diverse books. The sentiment is strongest among Black, Hispanic, multi-racial and Asian children and parents.
In addition to independent reading, parents reading to their children promotes literacy.
“Parents should read to children over the summer,” explain Abdusamad and Harper. “It is especially important to read to ages 0-7 because an expansive vocabulary helps a child develop strong reading comprehension skills.”
“Reading together is a great activity that does double duty as quality time spent together. Parents can ask questions about the story to test the child’s comprehension. It is also good for the parents to have their children read to them so they can help with any difficult words or questions, allowing them to gain important insight into their child’s reading capabilities.”
Visit the Omera Productions website for more information about their Summer Reading Challenge.